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Individual and Group Therapy – Two Complementary Approaches to Supporting Your Mental Health

group of smiling people sitting in a circle for group therapy

Individual & Group Therapy for Your Mental Health

When a person first enters an inpatient treatment program for their mental health, they may be surprised to discover that the program includes not one, but two approaches to therapy: group and individual. In most cases, individuals will participate in both types of therapy.

At first blush, that might seem like overkill. If you are working with a therapist one-on-one, why would you need to participate with a group of people? Or to turn it around, if you are participating in group therapy, why would you need individual sessions, too?

Those are fair questions. Let’s take a look at both approaches to therapy to get a clearer picture of how they might work together to improve your mental health.

What Can You Expect in Individual Therapy Sessions?

There are a number of different approaches to individual therapy, and your therapist will pursue an approach that aligns with your specific needs and goals. One of the most common therapeutic approaches is known as cognitive behavioral therapy, and we will use CBT as an example for what you might experience in your individual therapy sessions.

At its heart, CBT is centered on the strong connections between your thoughts, feelings, and actions. Having a better sense of how thoughts engender feelings, which in turn lead to actions, can make it easier to find solutions to our most pressing problems. This kind of therapy is structured and focused on setting and achieving goals related to your most immediate issues. As a rule, cognitive behavioral therapy lasts between 12 and 16 sessions.

Perhaps the most obvious advantage of individual therapy is that the focus of each session is entirely on you. You and your therapist will work together on issues you are facing with an eye on finding ways to improve your current situation, but you will also learn skills and strategies that you can apply to future problems or challenges as well.

You may also value the privacy and confidentiality that is central to individual therapy. It can be difficult to discuss mental health issues, but the one-on-one relationship with a therapist can make it somewhat easier.

What Can You Expect in Group Therapy Sessions?

There is a good chance you might feel awkward or uncomfortable in your first (or first several) group therapy session. You might wonder why you have to share your personal problems with others. And you might wonder why you have to listen to other people talk about their personal problems. You might wonder who benefits from this sort of group sharing.

Who benefits? The answer might surprise you. It turns out that everyone stands to benefit from participating in group therapy. As the American Psychological Association puts it, group therapy participants benefit from the development of “a common identity and sense of shared purpose.”

As that camaraderie is developed through conversation and shared experience, it helps support each individual’s goals. The reminder that no one in the group is alone in their difficulties can be uplifting for everyone. And a sense of accountability to the group can strengthen each individual’s resolve to make progress toward their personal mental wellness goals.

Under the guidance of a trained therapist, a group of individuals can come together and support one another so that everyone benefits. Working past any discomfort the group setting might engender is an important step toward improved mental health. Building a culture of confidentiality and support is essential to the group’s success, and the therapist working with the group will ensure that culture is in place throughout the group’s time together.

We Are Here To Help You Strengthen Your Mental Health

When you are struggling with a problem related to your physical health, it is only natural to pursue the treatment you need to recover. The same is true when it comes to your mental health.

At Peak View Behavioral Health, we are devoted to helping individuals strengthen and maintain their mental health. Our personalized approach to treatment includes group therapy and individual therapy on an as-needed basis, taking full advantage of what each has to offer.

Your mental health is every bit as important to your quality of life as your physical health is—so you simply cannot ignore it. If you need help addressing depression, anxiety, a trauma-based disorder, or any other mental health disorder, we can provide the resources, compassion, expertise, and support you need.

peak view behavioral health - colorado springs, colorado mental health and addiction treatment centerAre you looking for depression treatment in Colorado? For more information about Peak View Behavioral Health, or if you have questions, please call us at 719-444-8484 or use our contact form.

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